President Donald Trump has been accused of sexual assault by at least 26 women, per The Guardian, from more publicized claims like those of E. Jean Carroll and Jill Harth to stories from former pageant or Apprentice contestants. The newest allegation against Trump comes to us from former model Amy Dorris, who has laid out her harrowing story of having been sexually assaulted at the 1997 US Open for the first time, including pictures of her, Trump, and Jason Binn, the boyfriend and Trump buddy with whom she’d been traveling. Dorris says she’s speaking out now because she wants to be a good example for her daughters as they enter their teen years. While Trump’s legal team has denied that there is any truth to these allegations, Dorris’ recollections are troubling to read — not at all least because of how neatly it fits into a pattern of alleged predatory behavior we’ve come to expect from President Trump.
At the US Open Tennis Tournament in 1997, Dorris alleges that Trump assaulted her at the bathroom outside his VIP box, when she was 24 years old and visiting New York with her boyfriend Jason Binn.
“He just shoved his tongue down my throat and I was pushing him off. And then that’s when his grip became tighter and his hands were very gropey and all over my butt, my breasts, my back, everything,” Dorris told The Guardian. “I was in his grip, and I couldn’t get out of it. I don’t know what you call that when you’re sticking your tongue just down someone’s throat. But I pushed it out with my teeth. I was pushing it. And I think I might have hurt his tongue.”
— The Guardian (@guardian) September 17, 2020
The Guardian has spoken with a friend of Dorris’s and her mother, both of whom confirm that she told them about the incident shortly thereafter in 1997. She also provided the paper with numerous photos from the week of her with Trump, Binn, and others, in addition, she was able to prove her flight to New York for the dates referenced.
Jenna Ellis, a legal advisor to Donald Trump’s campaign, offered SheKnows the following comment on Dorris’ claims: “The allegations are totally false. We will consider every legal means available to hold The Guardian accountable for its malicious publication of this unsubstantiated story. This is just another pathetic attempt to attack President Trump right before the election.”
Trump’s legal team has suggested that Dorris’ willingness to continue socializing with Trump in the days following her alleged assault is proof that the event was fabricated, which Dorris refutes: “I just kind of was in shock. I felt violated, obviously. But I still wasn’t processing it and just was trying to go back to talking to everyone and having a good time because, I don’t know, I felt pressured to be that way.”
The truth is, there’s extensive evidence that this type of freezing response in common in trauma, and people who have been assaulted will often continue to see their attackers socially, even romantically — without it in any way negating the validity of their assault. The suggestion that continuing to see someone who you claim has attacked you is proof that they did not is just another lie trotted out to shame survivors out of speaking up. And while we’re saddened to see that Dorris already anticipated this response, we’re also proud of her for clearly coming in prepared for the unfair questioning and hatred coming her way.
As to why Dorris is coming forward now, she tells The Guardian that she’d considered it in 2016 when many other women shared their stories but had ultimately held off because she worried about personal ramifications for her young daughters. But as her children enter their teen years, she now feels she has to speak up and teach them that attacks like Trump’s alleged actions are never okay.
“When you invade someone’s space, it doesn’t matter if you were raped, it’s sexual assault, and it’s not OK,” Dorris said. “You don’t touch someone unless they want to be touched. And I did nothing to encourage him to touch me.”
Dorris was brave to come forward, and her story will sound familiar to many survivors — whether they were allegedly assaulted by Trump or anyone else.
Before you go, click here to see the most shocking celebrity tell-alls ever, ranked.